Sussex County has emerged as a hot spot for coronavirus cases, according to Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.
Cases had been in line with the elevated figures for the remainder of the state, but moved into the dark blue territory that denotes more than 500 cases per 100,000 population. (See map and dashboard below).
The average rate of positive cases is about 30 percent, higher than the state figure of about 26 percent.
Rattay spoke on Tuesday at Gov. John Carney’s weekly coronavirus press briefing.
Rattay did not cite any specific area of the county as a hotspot. Much of the state is seeing 500 or more cases per 100,000 population.
Coastal areas, which had been seeing a lower number of cases than other areas of the county, moved into the 500 zone.
This would mark the third surge in cases in Sussex. The first outbreak was tied to poultry workers in the early spring, with another uptick after senior week in the beach areas in May and early June.
Rattay said residents should observe social distancing and wear face coverings as a post-holiday surge continues throughout the state.
In its Tuesday update, the Division of Public Health reported five new deaths statewide. This was on top of the 14 deathsdeaths reported in the Monday update. The total number of Covid-19-related deaths is inching toward 1,000.
The deaths came from a review of Vital Statistics records,mainly from November and December. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the review, since it is widely believed that deaths tied to the virus are underreported
based on activity at funeral homes and other factors.
A total of 506 new positive cases were reported, bringing the overall total to 65,827.
The percentage of people turning positive was 25.8 in a seven-day rolling average (down one percentage point from the previous day) and 9.7 percent of total tests coming in positive in the seven-day rolling average, unchanged from the previous day.
Hospitalizations Hit another record at 473. Fifty-five people were in critical condition. The number has remained fairly steady despite the higher number of hospital stays.
So far, a lower number of flu-related hospitalizations, postponement of some elective procedures and moving some patients to assisted care have kept hospital occupancy at manageable levels, unlike areas such as southern California.
Gov. Carney did note that hospitals are beginning to see more serious cases that often. show up in emergency rooms.
On Friday night, Beebe Healthcare reported a surge in admissions for Covid-19 and other illnesses led to a decision to ban emergency room visitors. Other hospitals have banned or sharply limited visitors.
Below is an interactive dashboard of Covid-19 cases in the state from the Division of Public Health. One feature allows a look back at previous weeks.
For more data, including breakdowns by age, sex, race/ethnicity, at the statewide, county, and, in some cases, zip code or census tract level, click herefor the MyHealthyCommunity portal.